Attitudes Toward The Local Church
People who suffer with a disagreeable and
cynical attitude generally take that disposition with them wherever they go.
Some bring it to the church building!
Have you noticed, some folks who visit an
assembly of a local church for the first time, seem to walk in the door whining?
They didnt have good directions and the building was hard to find. They want to
know why the building is half empty and there are no kids the same age as their
kids. The song leader isnt very good. The preacher is not as exciting as they
prefer and, of course, the people were not friendly.
All of this grumbling comes before they get
to know the people. These troublesome judgments seem to come forth about the
time they walk in the door, and before they have taken the time to become
acquainted with the work their brothers and sisters are attempting to
This is more than just annoying. This kind
of behavior is immature, offers no good will or encouragement to the local
disciples, teaches children to be complainers and breeds a spirit of
self-absorption, complacency and self-righteousness.
There is a better attitude!
This better attitude begins with humility.
Do not assume that you know so much about a group of people, after youve known
them for a total of 30 minutes! There may be all sorts of facts, circumstances,
history and unseen conditions you know nothing about. Instead of thinking
primarily of your comfort, your preferences and your needs - Let each of
you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of
others, (Phil. 2:4).
The better attitude is based on a conscious,
individual decision to do all things without murmuring and disputing,
(Phil. 2:14). In the first place, the spirit that constantly complains and
grumbles is not pleasing to the Lord. In the second place, if there are
real problems, they are not solved by this irksome behavior.
The better attitude rejoices in truth (1
Cor. 13:6). What is good and right should be commended. John expressed this
attitude when he wrote, I rejoiced greatly that I found some of your
children walking in truth, as we have received commandment from the
Father, (2 Jn. 4).
The better attitude is cautious to avoid
partiality. Some of our quick judgments reflect personal prejudice or
favoritism. What James deals with in James two (Jas. 2:1-13) concerns one who
comes into your assembly, and the prejudicial attitudes toward the
poor man. The principle taught in the text would also apply when one who comes
in is guilty of the same attitude. Have you not shown partiality among
yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? (Jas. 2:4). That
question is probing for anyone showing partiality anywhere!
The better attitude says: Im here to participate, to help and to encourage everybody who is involved in the work of the Lord! The better attitude is not blind to problems, but seeks to participate in a solution to problems in a godly way. The better attitude does not demand perfection, but will share in scriptural efforts to move in that direction.
---Warren E. BerkIey